Phuket Sports 8

A one-design sport racer that combines high quality light weight design that delivers top performance in light coastal airs and can be easily transported overland plus be able to navigate through shallow waters: That was the brief from a group of dedicated racing sailors from the Ao Chalong Yacht Club on the Island of Phuket Thailand, who have long recognized the need for a fully operational one-design Sports class.

Award winning Australian yacht designer John Duncanson has come to the fore by meeting the brief and producing what should be one of the most exciting initiatives to Asian one-design sailing in years called the Phuket Sports 8, and local Phuket builder Mark Horwood from Latitude 8 Yachting has been appointed as the exclusive builder for S.E. Asia.

The new design is perfect for sailing in Asia says Horwood, "It has been designed cleanly and efficiently to be a serious racing competitor, so being fast and responsive in the light airs we experience here is definitely a bonus. Also the fact that the boats are trailerable and can be launched from a number of locations around the island is also being considered a major plus."

The boat features an extremely narrow water line beam and flared topsides in the form of detachable wings which were designed into the package to allow for road trailing and container transport. The extra leverage provided by the wings will enable the yacht to be sailed by a crew of four or five rather than five or six seen on other modern sports yacht designs.

Specifications for a new launch include "a cedar core epoxy/glass composite hull attached to an internal computer cut composite frame structure with a spacious deck on top". Retractable carbon fin with lead bulb, carbon spars and an articulating carbon bow pole. Carbon components have been designed and manufactured by Clive Watts from Composite Spars Sydney.

The sail area is also something to take note of with measurements consisting of:
Main - 25.6 sqm
Jib - 16.0 sqm
Spinnaker - 94.0 sqm

Boat specs are:
Length - 7.9m
Beam Max - 3.03m
Displacement - 850kg
Draft Max - 2.45m
Draft Min - 0.6m.

Computer cut composite components for three yachts has been shipped to Phuket from Sydney Australia and the Latitude 8 Yachting team where one of the best presented and fastest Spots Boat competing at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta during March 2003 Go to Race Reports....

"It was great to see how they perform" says National Thailand Match Racing Champion Muzza Nordstrand who has had some indirect input into the new design. "From the plans that I have seen so far they look fast and the sail area is enormous. I can't wait to get my hands on one."

The designer: John Duncanson has been designing and building first class racing and cruising yachts from Adelaide since the early 1960's. Now based in South East Queensland, John boasts an impressive resume after designing and building Australia's first fibre glass trailerable production yacht. His Duncanson 40 also won the Prince Phillip and Australian Design Awards.

John also pioneered CAD / CAM construction systems in the Australian and Thai marine industries back in the late 80's. Since then John and his son Scott designed, constructed and sailed the International and multiple Australian National Champion, J.O.G. class yacht "Gingerbread Man" which resulted in Scott being named South Australian yachtsman of the year in 1989. More can be found on the Phuket Sports 8 CAD / CAM construction system that John has pioneered over the years on his website by clicking on:

With three yachts already on the way in Thailand and judging by the numerous inquiries coming through on the Phuket Sports 8, she could very well be the next big thing in Asian One Design Racing, with a strict one-design rule and sail restriction currently being drafted to govern events as well as to control costs.

Prices have been set at 1.8 million baht or around US$46,000 depending on current rates. This is sail away complete with the latest Quantum sail technology, Tacktick Instruments, deck gear and fittings, outboard motor and launch trolly (Thai registration and taxes if required).

They have gone into production in Phuket and reportably the lead time from when placing a firm order to receiving the boat is under 4 months.

Latest News: Scott Duncanson's Somtam Express (PS8 # 2) has competed with distinction at Ko Samui, the Kings Cup and the Royal Langkawi regatta's over the last season. So watch out for them in the racing classes. Scott believes there is a bright future for sportsboats in S.E.A. as they are 'affordable' and well suited to the regions generally light weather conditions.

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